Toys & games

The global traditional toy market is expected to reach $86.9 billion in 2018 (1), a 2.8% increase over 2017.  It is forecasted to grow during 2017-27 at an annual moderate rate of 4.5%. Emerging markets are set to grow faster than developed markets. The UK, France, and Australia experienced declines while sales were flat in Germany and Italy.  

Within emerging countries, China will continue to be a leading toy market, but with child population growth slowing, toy sales in the country will increasingly be driven by income gains and more premium products. India will see high child population growth, which combined with income gains will help ramp up toy sales. In other emerging markets, sales growth over the last decade is negative with countries like Russia facing low child population growth or Brazil or Turkey which continue to face macro-economic challenges.

The toys market is in profound transformation and the recent Toys "R" Us closing is a sign of the time. The traditional sale of toys has shifted dramatically from toys to games and from shops to online.



The slow down in toys sales has been largely compensated by a major increase in the gaming market.  With 2.3 billion gamers across the globe in 2018, the global gaming market value will reach $137.9 billion (2) split between, mobile ($70.3 billion), PC ($32.9 billion) and console ($34.6 billion) and forecasted to grow by 11% in the forecasted period of 2018-2021.

The Japanese gaming market is still the third-largest in the world in 2018 (behind the United States and China), growing +15.1% year on year to $19.2 billion. Mobile gaming will continue to be the largest segment for games representing more than half of the entire games market and the gaming industry is quickly becoming a major component of the modern economy.

Technology developments around Virtual Reality (VR), the raise of Augmented Reality (AR) and mobile gaming are significant drivers for the gaming industry representing more than the toys industry and growing faster.



The major trends for the toys market can be covered in 5 categories: premiumization, adult customers, online sales, licensing and faster time-to-market. The increasing proliferation of smartphones, improving internet accessibility across the globe and availability of a diverse range of gaming genres have led to the shift from toys to games globally.

Growth in the global toys market is driven by licensed toys, especially Star Wars-related merchandise commanding a significant price premium. Without successful licensing, the global toys market would have seen sales decline. Demand for toys that offer greater interactive play, namely interactive robotic toys is in higher demand.

Toys and games for adults is a recent and expanding segment - especially among Millennials in developed countries. A new market around playing cards has been growing. The printed cards mirroring virtual games provides new social moments when you no longer want to be connected and solo playing.

Recent studies demonstrate that excessive use of tablets and phone usage for video games by young kids is proven to be bad. More parents chose toys so they can drag their kids away from the screens using tangible toys to develop their senses. Puzzles while not a growing category continues to leveraging popular licensing products.

The packaging for the toys and gaming industry has improved significantly with easier to unpack boxes. We now talk about the "unboxing experience" and major brands see packaging as part of the toys and games product design. Packaging grasps the attention of people towards interesting toys and games displayed on retail shelves and in online searches. The way you design, market and package has changed dramatically. With the recent attention paid to the issues surrounding sexism and misogyny in the gaming world, packaging designers are trying to make strides towards a more balanced gender representation and packaging is key.

Games are primarily sold online already and toys are in the digital battle ground as indicated by the failure of Toy "R" Us. This has a significant impact on the overall packaging. It’s important to remember that the e-commerce experience includes the way the product arrives in the mailbox or on the doorstep. That impression can make the product better and the brand more desirable, or it can create a negative perception that will affect both. The packaging performance has to be enhanced on several front: protection, displayed information and the "unboxing experience".

Cardboard boxes are the packaging of choice for toys and games in addition to rigid and flexible plastics. What is new is that the printed designs are more creative, changing quickly with easily recognizable images in high-quality. For some games and toys, the repacking is critical and the box functionality needs to be high. Lastly, the decline of printed manuals is accelerating and limited to specific toys - e.g. Lego.

BOBST solutions

Toys and games require sturdy packaging to protect and to stand up. The BOBST DRO family has been designed to accommodated the most complicated jobs with high graphic quality. The BOBST DRO 1624/28/32 NT RS is the most productive press on the market place. The BOBST FFG 924 or 1228 are the most productive machines delivering up to 33.000 boxes per hour. For high format boxes production, the FFG 1232/1636 NT RS are the best solutions in the market. For brand owners requiring very high quality graphics incl. images, the BOBST THQ FlexoCloud Technology is the most advanced one pass platform delivering quality, productivity at low operating costs. In addition, BOBST offers security printing features for anti-counterfeit and track & trace - features required by brands.

BOBST's 90SIX CI flexo press is designed to deliver premium quality on a wide range of carton thickness including heavy substrates. An array of auxiliary systems that facilitate change-overs, ensure maximum profitability even for short runs and even with the largest formats. Thanks to its sophisticated mechanical and electrical design the machine can handle even low grammage which further increases the efficiency of your specialized production.

Typical toys and games packaging use micro corrugated flute providing attractiveness as well as protection. Printed instructions and specifications are often printed directly onto the packaging which requires adjustable printing methods for multiple languages and various regulations. Offset or flexo print can deliver all of these requirements in combination with microflutes single or double faced board which is a perfect combination for presentation and protection. The MASTERFLUTE TOUCH in-line laminating solutions of BOBST provides highly efficient production lines for litho-laminated corrugated board.

Micro-corrugated or corrugated large boxes produced in high volume will find the perfect solution with the BOBST EXPERTCUT 145 PER die-cutter. This machine will deliver unbeatable product quality thanks to a precise and powerful register.

Whatever type of corrugated board or litho-laminated boxes produced, the EXPERTFOLD 165 has been designed to give you complete control during the folding process. With its straight-line, crash-lock, 4&6-corner capabilities and quick setting times, this folder-gluer provides the versatility and flexibility needed to meet whatever request your clients might have. Any faulty box will automatically be ejected with ACCUEJECT XL device. It ensures high quality production while simultaneously reducing waste and cost. The highly productive and fully automatic packer, SPEEDPACK will allow you to realize the full potential of your folding-gluing line. This patented equipment bundles a large range of box formats and types, from solid board up to double wall corrugated board.

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